Senator Bob Deuell

August 7, 2008


Information on the Digital Television Transformation

(AUSTIN) -- By law, American television stations will end all analog broadcasts on February 17, 2009 and begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format. Television sets connected to cable, satellite or a telephone company video service provider should not be affected, and will continue to receive broadcast programming after that date. But TV sets that are not connected to cable or satellite, or do not have a built-in digital tuner, will need a converter box to continue receiving and displaying broadcast television after the transition occurs.

Why is America Switching to Digital Television (DTV)?

Digital is a more efficient way to broadcast, and it will free up the airwaves for other services, including public safety. DTV also provides clearer pictures, more channels, and even free over the air high-definition television (HDTV) for consumers with HD television sets.

How do Consumers Switch to DTV?

Preparing for the DTV transition requires one of three steps by February 17, 2009:

Purchase a DTV converter box: If you use "rabbit ears" or a rooftop antenna with your analog television, you must take action to continue receiving television broadcasts. The Federal Government is offering U.S. households up to two $40 coupons to help with the cost of certified TV converter boxes. A converter box is a one-time purchase that will allow your analog TV to work after February 17, 2009 to continue receiving television broadcasts. Certified TV converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70. Coupons are free, but supply is limited. Coupons will be mailed to you by the Federal Government. Applications will be accepted from January 1, 2008 until March 31, 2009.

Purchase a Digital TV set: Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner. All TVs with a digital tuner are able to receive digital signals broadcast by television stations.

Subscribe to a video service provider: Subscribe to cable, satellite or a telephone company video service provider to continue using analog TV sets.

If you have any further questions about the digital television transition you may contact any local cable or satellite provider or visit Also, feel free to contact my office and my staff will be happy to help you make a smooth transition.

To contact Sen. Deuell about the legislative process, contact the Capitol Office at (512) 463-0102 or mail to Sen. Bob Deuell, Texas Senate, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711. The website for the Texas Senate is The e-mail address for Sen. Deuell is: